Nov 022012

Miami Dolphins (4-3) at Indianapolis Colts (4-3)

Both of these teams sit at 4-3, meaning this game could easily have playoff implications and one or both of these teams could make the playoffs. I bet you didn’t see that coming. I would say these teams are pretty equal. I had Miami ranked 10th in my Power Rankings and Indianapolis ranked 11th. However, for some reason, Miami is actually road favorites here of 2.5, which makes no sense.

Miami was +2 in New York to play the Jets. The Jets are 4.5 points better than the Colts? I know the Jets beat them, but that was when Indianapolis was flat off of the ChuckStrong game. The Colts are playing much better since then (they’re 3-1 in their last 4 overall) and it’s hard to believe that the Jets are now 4.5 points better than the Colts when the odds makers thought they were just .5 points better a few weeks ago (NY Jets -3.5 at home).

Yards per play and rate of sustaining drives second my opinion that these two are about even. Indianapolis ranks 27th in yards per play differential and 17th in rate of sustaining drives, while Miami ranks 21st and 19th respectively. The yards per play differential method of calculating line value gives us a real line of Indianapolis -1 and the rate of sustaining drives differential method of calculating line value gives us a real line of Indianapolis -3.5.

And that’s not even taking into account Indianapolis’ improving injury situation. Their defense is finally getting healthy after seemingly losing every good defensive player they had for some period of time (though it sounds like Vontae Davis will be out for a while). Cory Redding, Dwight Freeney, and Pat Angerer are all back and it sounds like Angerer will play in more than just a rotational role this week for the first time all season. Robert Mathis could also play this week, after missing 3 games. On the offensive side of the ball, Donald Brown is back. Their offense line is also finally healthy. The only players missing are Davis and Coby Fleener, though the latter wasn’t doing much anyway. For Miami, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill will be playing hurt.

At first glance, this looked like a trap line, because this line just didn’t make any sense to me, but there’s not a heavy public lean on Indianapolis, so I ruled that out. In fact, there’s a slight lean on Miami. Given that, I really like Indianapolis this week. Dogs are 86-49 ATS before being favorites since 2011. Going off of that, home dogs are 51-31 ATS since 2002 before being road favorites. Indianapolis goes to Jacksonville next week. On top of that, home dogs are 56-33 ATS off a road win as divisional dogs, 6-3 ATS when it was an overtime win and 42-20 ATS when the win was by a touchdown or fewer. It’s a significant play on the Colts.

Public lean: Miami (new thing I’m adding, siding with the odds makers on bets is not a bad thing to do since they make so much money, so I’m listing this here to allow readers to “fade” the public, if they so choose, in this example, the odds makers win if Indianapolis covers)

Sharps lean: IND 12 MIA 5

Final update: Solid sharps lean on Indianapolis. Still feeling confident.

Indianapolis Colts 24 Miami Dolphins 20 Upset Pick +115

Pick against spread: Indianapolis +2.5 (-110) 4 units

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